While many schools take action to teach kids certain emergency behaviors, such as "stop, drop, and roll,” and show them emergency fire exits, kids need to be taught preventative measures and other helpful information that they can utilize when they are at home.
There are a variety of fire safety tips for parents, preventative measures and information that parents and children need to know about fires. However, certain safety tips for parents can truly make the difference between everyone in your family safely handling and escaping a fire. As a parent, you should consider the following:
- Teach your child how to properly work a fire extinguisher, even if your child is older. While all except very young children are aware of what a fire extinguisher is and its purpose, many have never actually handled one. YouTube has many great videos to help you and your child learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Install monitored smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and heat detectors, and teach your children what these tools are and how to respond to them. Much like the smoke detector that you and your children are likely used to, monitored detection will alert you if there is a fire or dangerous gas leak in your home and immediate dispatch the proper emergency respondants. Children should know where these detectors are and the sounds they make when they detect fire, heat, or gas. These detectors can also substantially ease the homeowner's mind, as monitored detectors will alert the monitoring station to dispatch emergency respondants rather than simply hoping a neighbor will see the flames and call the fire department for you should you not be at home.
- Develop an escape plan with multiple exits. Teach this plan to your children and practice it regularly. Your plan should have exits from multiple points of the house and account for any room that a child could be in when a fire breaks out. Each escape route needs to be practiced so a child does not hesitate if a fire actually breaks out. An easy way to get your child to practice this escape plan is to make it into a game by seeing how fast they can follow the route, then timing them to see if they beat their time.
- Keep matches and other fire hazards out of reach of children. Make sure you discuss where these hazardous tools and materials are, so that a child does not accidentally come across them and use them.
- Choose a meeting place where you and your children should go after escaping your home when a fire breaks out. This should be an easily reachable place that will be far enough away from the home that no one is endangered while waiting here. You should also come up with a second, backup meeting place in case your first becomes unsafe.
With these fire safety tips for parents, you can feel more assured that your home and children are better protected should a fire break out.